May 20, 2005 GMT
'Roo Trouble

I was lucky. Really, really lucky.

My steering damper saved me from crashing after I hit a 'roo at about 120 kmh.

It was the first live one I'd seen. All the others were laying dead at the side of the road.

I'd been warned not to go fast but had been having a race with a Landcruiser as we headed towards Miles.

I saw the 'roo hop out of the bush about ten metres from the edge of the road.

I closed the throttle but realised I was going far to fast to be able to stop in time. It would also mean I could only go straight on as I braked. I didn't even think of using my air horns to make him move faster.

Everyrthing seemed to happen in slow motion.

He paused, then hopped again, pause and hop.

He was on the left edge of the tarmac.

I was in the middle of the road and drifting right.

Hop.

He was in the centre of the road.

I was going to miss him by a whisker on the right side.

I thought I'd made it until there was sickening thud and my bike started a big weave as the bars wobbled and the bike kept on drifting right.

I kept the throttle open and leant heavily to the left knowing my Scotts damper would settle everything down.

'Phew'

I sighed with relief and decided to keep going. i then looked in my mirror and saw loads of stuff all over the road.

My bike felt a bit odd too and I looked down at my left pannier. It was missing.

I slowed down and returned to where the Landcruiser driver was picking my stuff up from the road.

The 'roo was in his death throes and I suddenly felt very guilty.

'Can you put him out of his misery?' I said assuming there was a known way to finish them off.

He went off to find a piece of wood but by the time he returned the 'roo was still.

I picked up my pannier and the force of the impact started to dawn on me.

The aluminium pannier had been ripped clean off it's mountings. There was a four or five inch dent in the front panel presumably where it had hit the 'roos head. It was no where near rectangular in shape and it took me a quarter of an hour bashing it straght with a hammer before I could get the lid to fit again.

Later that night I realised what would have happened to me if I had hit the roo with my knee at that speed.

Now I know why the speed limits are so slow. If the bush encroaches right besides the road even 60kmh feels too fast.

Ride Safe.


Visit www.fowb.co.uk for more details on this and previous trips.

Posted by Jeremy Bullard at May 20, 2005 06:32 AM GMT
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